A Russian skier was killed and five others were rescued, along with their local guide, after an avalanche hit a popular Himalayan ski resort in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday, officials said.

They said that at least six Russian skiers and their local guide were hit by the avalanche and buried in snow high in the mountains of the tourist town of Gulmarg. Rescuers pulled six survivors from the snow. Officials were yet to identify the dead Russian skier.


Gulmarg is nestled in the Pirpanjal mountain range in the western Himalayas and has one of Asia’s largest ski terrains, where thousands of domestic and international tourists visit.

Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir and have caused heavy death tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camped near the mountainous and forested militarized Line of Control that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals.

In 2010, at least 17 soldiers were killed after an avalanche hit the Indian army’s High Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg during their training session.

At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in three avalanches in 2017, and in 2012, a massive avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir killed 140 people, including 129 Pakistani soldiers.

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